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  • Cartoonist and Writer is Honoured by Leeds Arts University

    Internationally published cartoonist and writer to receive Leeds Arts University’s second d honorary Master of Arts degree.

    Darryl Cunningham will be recognised by Leeds Arts University, the North of England’s only specialist arts university, during a graduation ceremony on Thursday 5 July at Leeds Town Hall. The ceremony will celebrate graduating students from the University’s BA (Hons) degree courses in: Animation, Creative Advertising, Fashion, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography, Printed Textiles & Surface Pattern Design, and Visual Communication.

    Ahead of receiving his honorary degree Darryl Cunningham said:-

    “It will be a huge privilege for me to accept an honorary degree from Leeds Arts University, especially as I’m a former student of the University, having studied between 1980 and 1983 when it was then known as Jacob Kramer College”

    “The University has long played a vital role in shaping the lives and careers of so many people in the creative arts. With a number of new courses starting next year, including a degree course in Comic & Concept Art, the University will continue to offer life-changing opportunities to tomorrow’s creatives.” said Darryl Cunningham.

    Born and raised in Keighley, Cunningham worked in mental health for many years – an experience that informed his first graphic work, Psychiatric Tales (Blank Slate, 2010), a book written with the aim of exploding myths about mental illness.

    Cunningham followed this with, Science Tales (Myriad Editions, 2012), a series of graphic essays on controversial science subjects that include: the Andrew Wakefield/MMR/vaccination scandal, homeopathy, chiropractic, evolution, climate change, and gas fracking. This book looks at the facts of each subject and sorts the truth from the myths.

    Professor Simone Wonnacott, Vice-Chancellor, Leeds Arts University said:

    “Darryl Cunningham has produced much award-winning and thought-provoking work over many years using comic and graphic arts so it gives me great pleasure to award him only our second Honorary Master of Arts degree. Although the University has changed much since Darryl’s time it is alumni such as him who continue to inspire our students by showing them what is possible through talent, commitment and hard work.”

    Cunningham’s latest book is Graphic Science (Myriad Editions, 2017), a book that takes a close look at the lives and work of seven scientists, spanning two centuries and looking at fields as different as geology, botany, chemistry, and astronomy. Subjects include Nikola Tesla, Fred Hoyle, and Mary Anning.

    Prior to this he worked on Supercrash: How To Hijack The Global Economy (Myriad Editions, 2014), a book about the long rise of neoliberal politics in the Western world. It contains a biography of the novelist and political thinker, Ayn Rand, an overview of her influence on modern politics and a detailed breakdown of the causes of the 2008 financial crisis.

    In 2015 Cunningham worked with the Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation’s Art Of Saving a Life project, as one of 30 world-renowned photographers, painters, sculptors, writers, filmmakers and musicians to impress urgency on the global community to reach all children with the life-saving vaccines they need.

    Last year the University awarded its first Honorary Master of Arts degree to leading UK film director and alumna of the University, Clio Barnard.